September 22nd, 2005

mouseboat

Mouseing along above the "trees"

The bottom of the aquatic course inside the breakwall that guards the Western Beaches is an underwater forest full of "flying" fish darting in and out among the "trees." The water is so clear in the wake of the zebra mussel invasion that paddling a Mouse on a windless day is like having a glass-bottom boat. It felt like I was flying a magic carpet along above a forest at night.

Also, the loons and geese are migrating, and I paddled through a mixed flock of 75 or so. A pair of swans were gliding along as well, with their tail feathers rigged up as sails.

I took my handheld GPS along. Including halts for rest or sightseeing, I averaged 2 knots. "Cruising speed" is in the neighbourhood of 2.5 to 2.7; putting my hips into my stroke and carrying it farther aft gives me 3 knots with a bit of effort but not too much. My absolute top speed was 3.5 knots, with much churning of water behind and at the forefoot.
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